Evolution of vulnerability to pain in interpersonal relations as a strategic trait aiding cooperation
AbstractWhy are humans so vulnerable to pain in interpersonal relations and can so easily hurt others physically and emotionally? We theoretically examine whether being offensively strong but defensively weak can evolve as a strategic trait that fosters cooperation. We study a population comprised of "thick-skinned" and "thin-skinned" agents by using an indirect evolution model that combines rational choice in strategic interactions with evolutionary selection across generations. We find that (a) the relatively vulnerable and cooperative thin-skins cannot evolve under purely random matching, (b) with some assortment thin-skins evolve and can take over the entire population, (c) vulnerability to greater pain makes it easier for thin-skins to evolve, and (d) proximate pain which merely feels bad but does not lower fitness helps thin-skins evolve even more than pain which accurately reflects fitness consequences. We draw contrast with the Hawk-Dove model and identify several ways in which rationality hinders the evolution of the relatively vulnerable and peaceful type of agent.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 23859.
Date of creation: 09 Jul 2010
Date of revision:
cooperation; conflict avoidance; Hawk-Dove; pain; emotions; vulnerability; indirect evolution; assortative matching;
Other versions of this item:
- Dimitry Rtischev, 2011. "Evolution of vulnerability to pain in interpersonal relations as a strategic trait aiding cooperation," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 21(5), pages 757-782, December.
- D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics; Underlying Principles
- D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances
- C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-07-24 (All new papers)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Siegfried Berninghaus & Werner Güth & Hartmut Kliemt, . "From Teleology to Evolution Bridging the gap between rationality and adaptation in social explanation," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2002-24, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
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